At one time, every passenger on the Disneyland Railroad received a ticket illustrated with a steel engraving of a 19th century locomotive, smoke rolling majestically from it's stack. At boarding time the conducter punched holes in the ticket, which then became a treasured souvenir.
REPORTED: Troy Carrington 13 MAR 97
The original two locomotives, the E.P. Ripley and the C.K. Holliday, were constructed at the Disney studios.
The Ernest S. Marsh, was built in 1925 and used at a New England lumber mill. It, too, received a major overhaul.
Each year, the trains put on about 20,000 miles just from circling Disneyland.
The 4 trains on Disneyland Railroad are named for great railroad men. In fact all the railroad men were early executives with the Santa Fe. The C.K. Holliday is named for Cyrus K. Holliday, founder of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. The other names are Ernest Marsh, Fred Gurley, & E.P. Ripley.
REPORTED: Eric B 04 APR 96
CONFIRMED: R W Lipp 07 JUN 96
Engine No. 1, the C.K. Holliday, was named after the founder of what would eventually become the Santa Fe Railroad. The engine is a 4-4-0, built by Disney in 1955. It was modeled on the Lilly Belle, Walt's eighth scale engine of the Carolwood Pacific Railroad.
Engine No. 2, the E.P. Ripley, was named after a past president of the Santa Fe Railroad. The engine is a 4-4-0, built by Disney in 1955.
Engine No. 3, The Fred G. Gurley, built in 1894, once hauled sugarcane from distant Louisiana plantations to shipping docks in New Orleans. Found rusty from sitting idle, it was dismantled, cleaned, rebuilt, and repainted. The Fred Gurle was named after a president of the Santa Fe Railroad. The engine is a 2-4-4T, built by Baldwin in 1894. It is the oldest of any of the Disney Railroad engines, having celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1994.
Engine No. 4, the Ernest S. Marsh, was named after a past president of the Santa Fe Railroad. The engine is a 2-4-0, built by Baldwin in 1925.
Engine No. 3, The Fred G. Gurley, was not purchased directly by Disneyland. Walt asked Gerald Best, a railfan and friend of Walt's, to find and buy a locomotive for him. Walt was concerned that if the seller knew that Disneyland was the real buyer they would set the price too high.
REPORTED: Thom Rose 13 AUG 99
A fifth engine is being added to the park's steam engine fleet. Formerly #3, the "Maud L," it ran on the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad at the Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio. It is scheduled to be dedicated at the park on Labor Day Weekend and christened #5, the "Ward Kimball." Ward Kimball was an animator at the Disney Studios and a big train buff. He and his wife owned and operated the Grizzly Flats Narrow Gauge Railroad in their backyard! Most of the Grizzly Flats rolling stock and equipment has been donated to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California.
REPORTED: anon 13 MAY 00
If anybody wonders if the same engine pulls the same passenger cars...No! During my stay I noticed that the C.K. Holliday and the Fred Gurley (the only two I ever happened to get on) both pulled sideways facing and forward facing passenger cars. [I'm not sure what it is about me, in three rides on the Monorail, I always got the orange train].
REPORTED: R W Lipp 07 JUN 96
The passenger car that faces forward is called the "Excursion" and the three that face towards the right are called the "Holidays." They change the passenger cars with the engine depending on which engines are in the garage. Almost always the Excursion is out because it can fit about 2 times the people of the Holidays.
CLARIFICATION: Eric B 22 AUG 96
CONFIRMED: Benjamin Rockwell 05 JAN 97
The Excursion is almost always out because it is easier to load not because it holds more people. The train that holds the most people is the Holiday #2. It has seven cars where the Holiday 4, Holiday 5, and the Excursion 3 only have 5.
CONFIRMED: anon 10 SEP 98
The fancy caboose on the Disneyland Railroad is the observation car of the original passenger train that used to circle the Park when it first opened. The other cars have been mothballed because the small windows offered a limited view of the dioramas. Christened the "Lilly Belle," after Walt's wife, Lillian, it's been transformed into a lavish VIP parlor car, with live palms, silk roses, brass fixtures, stained glass skylights, elaborate woodwork and chairs upholstered in burgundy velvet.
REPORTED: Troy Carrington 13 MAR 97
The only caboose car on one of the four trains at the Park was used by Walt when visiting the Park or hosting important guests. The Lilly Belle is quaintly furnished with victorian era furnishings and tiffany-style lamps. This car is STILL PRIVATE and for use by Disney Executives when visiting the Park and requires a corporate call to make an appointment. When I worked at the Studios in Burbank, I had the pleasure to ride in the private car on two different occassions, once as an anniversary present to my wife, and on the other occassion entertaining relatives from out of state. Guess who was a BIG hit! By the way, riders in the car are allowed to ride around the Park as many times as they wish before disembarking.
UPDATE: anon 12 AUG 98
My family recently got stuck at the Tomorrowland railroad station at park closing time. We were "stuck" because the train was full and with great reluctance and cautions about our conduct, we were allowed to ride the VIP only Lilly Belle caboose car. It was beautifully decorated, reminded us of the Wild, Wild West tv series era. It was in fantastic shape, very sharp looking. What an extra-special way to end our day in Disneyland!
CONFIRMED: Sara Hubert 05 SEP 98
Unfortunately, "Lilly Belle" has been off the tracks since mid-1998 due to wood rot and termites, and it seems as though she's been forgotten, never to return. I get the feeling that bringing her back up to snuff is "not in the budget". I only had the privelege of riding in Lily Belle once, and while it rated zero as a thrill ride, the history and everything about her makes me rate the ride as being in the top ten!
UPDATE: anon 21 AUG 00
CONFIRMED: AprilDecember 06 OCT 00
Today, April 17, 2001 after work i visited the park, and the caboose on the train is back, I saw, and no one was riding in it.
UPDATE: Nathan 19 APR 01
You can ride in the engine, tender of trains no.1 & 2 if you ask the conductor, they will normally let you ride if the engineers don't have to fill the engine with water or refill with fuel. You have to board the trains a Main Street and exit them at Main Street.These two trains were the original two trains built at the studios.
REPORTED: Ricky Jordan 31 JUL 97
A couple of the trains at Disneyland have "jump seats" where the coal car would be and that if you ask nicely you and a friend (there's only room for two) can ride up front with the engineer. Since the four trains are different this isn't possible on all of them.
CONFIRMED: David Enertson 26 MAR 98
I just learned from my sister that Walt had seats installed on engine #1 & #2 so that friends of his could ride in the engine when taking the train around the outskirts of Disneyland. My sister and her daughter were able to ride in these seats recently because the park wasn't crowded... and they were letting people ride in the caboose, too.
CONFIRMED: Gregory Wilker 04 MAY 98
Yes, this is true, my son, a train nut and I got to ride up with the engineers all around the park by asking. It is VERY warm...so warm that it put my little four year old to sleep. This was about two years ago at Disneyland.
CONFIRMED: Rick Bundschuh 09 JUN 99
Think it would be cool to ride along "in the cab" of one of the Disneyland Railroads four steam locomotives? Well, you can, under certain circumstances. First, be aware that the only station properly equipped to allow for safe guest boarding/disembarking from the engine/tender is the Main Street Station. Also, realize that there's really only room for two (or three very small) people, that your perch is somewhat precarious, and that there's oil everywhere! When you're waiting on the platform, behind the gate, hail one of the conductors at an opportune moment, and ask him or her if it might be possible for you to ride in the cab. The conductor will then check with the cab crew - the engineer and fireman - to see if it's okay (it usually is...they're nice folks, and enjoy meeting guests). If all goes well, you'll be escorted to the front of the train, and seated on a little cushion on the very front of the tender, just behind the engineer and fireman. It's a neat way to see the park, but a bit weird without the usual narration and other noise you'll hear back in the cars. Especially in the Primeval World Diorama!
CONFIRMED: AprilDecember 12 JUN 99
When I was last at the park in August, I learned that cab rides were no longer being given. The Conductors did not know when or if they would resume. The caboose, however, is still open to guests. All you have to do is ask the conductors if it's unlocked and available to guests.
UPDATE: AprilDecember 06 OCT 00
You can no longer ride the cab in any trains. the conductor at the turn stiles said it's a safety issue.
UPDATE: Richard Blythe 25 DEC 00
Currently they have three steam engines running on the Disneyland Railroad. Combined, the trains have traveled enough to circle the globe 5 times.
REPORTED: Shannon 07 FEB 00
Also, "Retlaw" was the name of the first passenger train at Disneyland. If you look at old pictures of the Park, Retlaw 1 was that yellow passenger train that circled the Park back in the day.
CONFIRMED: Tadao 14 FEB 00
I noticed nobody has mentioned the "wave at the train" rule. No matter what you are doing, the Cast Members are supposed to smile and wave at the train as it goes by. I've seen maintenance workers in obscure places stop what they are doing to wave at the train. It is neat to pass through the Electrical Parade in the staging area when they wave.
REPORTED: R W Lipp 07 JUN 96
As an ex Castmember of the Disneyland Steam Trains, I can confirm that "No matter what you are doing, the Cast Members are supposed to smile and wave at the train as it goes by. " Also, the Castmembers of the Train must smile and wave at 4 particular points durring the Round Trip of the Magic Kingdom:
As the train passes thru the Splash Mountain Tunnel, goes over the Critter Country Bridge (above the Splash Mountain line), and as it passes by the seating area of the Hungry Bear Restraunt;
To any Rivercraft (The Canoes, The Mark Twain, or the Columbia) as the Train Goes around the curve of the Rivers of America
As they pass the Festival Arena, formerly the theater for the Hunchback Festival of Fools (only if the Arena is being occupied for a banquet or other special event), and
As the Train passes over the Toontown bridge, and passes by It's a Small World.
In addition, Castmembers are encouraged to smile and wave at any ofther points during the trip that they pass by large amounts of guests, and are also encouraged to talk to the passengers of the Train (making everyone feel welcome, and happy while on their visit to Disneyland).
CONFIRMED: Laura Pasarow 22 OCT 99
Disneyland is affected by the weather! As obvious as this seems, many tourists still do not understand this. Southern California was recently plagued with strong winds. Now you might think that this would affect very few attractions, now that the Skyway is gone. Well, the wild Rivers of America became a little too realistic when a giant tree (behind the Hungry Bear Restaurant) plunged into the flat, green water. The Mark Twain was closed for 5 hours. Big Thunder was closed due to a strange reading on their computers that day. After 2 hours, the Cast Members finally found the problem; a door had blown open, and the computers didn't know what to expect! Finally, the Jungle Cruise became a replay of the Rivers of America incedent; seems one to many plam leaves clogged the rivers there. To make all of these freak accidents worse, many people demanded their money back, because four big attractions in that area (Splash Mountain was closed for rehab) happened to be closed. The friendly Cast Members tried to explain that the wind was beyond their control, but the guests wouldn't listen. Seems people just can't understand why even the Magic Kingdom is affected by the power of nature.
REPORTED: Scott M. Leonard 15 APR 97
My father told me that his high school quartet (he was a sophomore in '55) sang at the opening of Disneyland. His name is Ward Hollesen and was from Clovis High School Clovis, Ca. I hope someone who was there can confirm 4 teen boys singing 50's songs in a quartet at the Disneyland Opening. Chey
REPORTED: Chey Sechrist 16 SEP 97
One of the cats at the Main Street Train Station has been named Retlaw by the conductors, Charlie & George, who feed and take care of him. Retlaw is Walter spelled backwards!
REPORTED: Gregory Shoop 28 OCT 96
The cat named "Retlaw" by the train workers is a tribute to the old days, when the monorail and train workers were employed by a Disney company called Retlaw, which is Walter backwards. I saw a grey tabby cat by the castle, and a black cat with white patches where Big Thunder Ranch used to be, and is now the Festival of Fools.
CONFIRMED: Tangaroa Jr. 17 JUL 97
When you're riding the Disneyland railroad, pushing beyond the river in what could be called Frontierland, just before you head through the tunnel, as you pass the old Big Thunder Ranch/Festival of Fools area, you'll notice a purely decorative loading platform/station alongside the track. In this grouping of props, you'll see a little dog house, with the name "Indiana" painted on it. I believe that this is an allusion to Indiana Jones' childhood pet, who's mentioned in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" by Sean Connery's character, Dr. Henry Jones. In the appropriate scene, Connery's character is giving Indy trouble about his nickname...something like, "We named the dog Indiana!"
REPORTED: AprilDecember 12 JUN 99
REPORTED: Meg 26 MAR 01
Has the voice of the conductor on the trains changed? The voice I heard the other day sure didn't sound like the original recording. Also, looks like the recording needs to be updated since it still talks about the burning cabin across the river!
REPORTED: Piglet's Mom 24 AUG 00
The conductor's voice is Thurl Ravenscroft
UPDATE: cindy sundes 07 MAR 01
To comfirm Thurl's voice as the narrator on the Disneyland Railroad. Thurl is also the voice of Tony the Tiger in the Frosted Flakes commercial and the guy who sings "You're a mean one Mr. Grinch", in the Grinch cartoon.
CONFIRMED: Lance D. Liddell 28 SEP 01
There is an easily seen BB hole in the prehistoric diorama which is viewed via the Disneyland Railroad. A cast member was asked about the hole, he said that it was done by a child last year.
REPORTED: David Enertson 26 MAR 98
I confirmed this with a worker at the Main Street Station.
CONFIRMED: Roger Covalt 29 APR 00
When you are on the Train that goes around the park and you go through the dino part look at the waterfall at the bottom of it there is a Hidden Yoda from Star Wars. But the Yoda is only half there and plus you have to look hard.
REPORTED: Goofy 16 MAY 00
We rode 9 times around the park without getting of the train.
REPORTED: brian 14 MAR 01